Hello and Welcome Friends,

  March, 2004
volume 2 number 3

I have emmersed myself in painting for the past month. I don't always have the time to paint everyday as the responsibilities of life seem to inevitably interfere. Along with new landscapes, I have been working on a life size, full length double portrait. Given the shear amount of canvas to be covered, it won't surprise you that I have painted day and night for the past two weeks to finish this ambitious undertaking. I'll tell you how it came about below.

Aside from one landscape painting ("Winter Moonrise") I seem to be in denial that it is winter outside! The paintings are of atmospheric mornings on lakes and rivers of my imagination. Here is a selection of a few of the recent works:

Winter Moonrise" Oil on Panel 24" x 11"

"Waters Edge" Oil on Panel 16" x 23"

"Sunrise Misty Morning" Oil on Panel 16" x 23"

Now let me tell you a bit about the portrait.

On Valentines Day the local paper (the Brattleboro Reformer) ran a front page picture of the first couple to receive a civil union in Vermont (and the country for that matter). They were looking at each other with a tenderness that clearly showed their love for each other. Patricia and I remarked to each other how we enjoyed seeing the photograph. We may have even discussed how they would make a good subject for a painting.

I awoke at about 4:30 in the morning the next day with the idea of taking the content of that photograph to a higher level in a painting. The idea kept me awake, so I rose and began drawing out my idea. Without models to work from, the drawing was no more than an outline for me - I don't think I would want to show it to anyone! I took a digital photo of the drawing and worked with it on the computer over the course of the next few days, working out the composition, the position of the figures and the interior. After several more drawings of my idea, I settled on what I wanted to do.

I called Kathleen and Carolyn and asked them if they would be interested in sitting for me. To my relief, they were very enthusiastic about my idea. Since I have plans to enter the painting in a national competition in Massachusetts on the 20th of March, I had to work fast. I started painting on the first of March and finished it last night. My wife, Patricia, assures me that I have spent quite enough time on the painting - thank you very much! In all, I am quite pleased.

I hope that you feel (as I do) that the painting conveys the universality of the love these two people have for one another. Given the current political situation, I believe it is important to express my feelings about the injustice and inequality of denying this couple (and millions more) an equal position in our country.

"The First Civil Union (an open door)" Oil on Canvas 66" x 35"

And so there it is - the latest from Vermont. The snow is coming down heavily at the moment. But spring has warmed the ground and the snow probably won't stick around. The sap is beginning to flow in the sugar bush and the smell of maple syrup will be everywhere during the next few weeks.

We are keeping quite busy here and all is well. I hope the same is true for you and yours.

Thanks for looking at my work. Drop by any time if you are in the area!

Yours,

William H. Hays


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The Artist's Loft Bed & Breakfast and Gallery, Vermont
103 Main Street, Brattleboro, Vermont 05301-4308  USA
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